His words. Not mine. To be fair, I’m assuming, though not implausibly, they’re Vox Day‘s in the following blurb for his latest book, Jordanetics: A Journey Into the Mind of Humanity’s Greatest Thinker:
Jordan Peterson is believed by many to be the greatest thinker that humanity has ever known. He is Father Figure, Philosopher-King, and Prophet to the millions of young men who are his most fervent fans and followers. He is the central figure of the Intellectual Dark Web, an academic celebrity, and an unparalleled media phenomenon who has shattered all conceptions of what it means to be modern celebrity in the Internet Age.
He has, by his own admission, thought thoughts that no man has ever thought before. He has dared to dream dreams that no man has ever dreamed before.
Of course, Jordan Peterson also happens to be a narcissist, a charlatan, and an intellectual con man who doesn’t even bother to learn the subjects upon which he lectures. He is a defender of free speech who silences other speakers, a fearless free-thinker who never hesitates to run away from debates, difficult questions, and controversial issues, a philosopher who rejects the conventional definition of truth, and a learned professor who has failed to read most of the great classics of the Western canon. He is, in short, a shameless and unrepentant fraud who lacks even a modicum of intellectual integrity.
But is Jordan Peterson more than a mere fraud? Is he something more sinister, more unbalanced, and even more dangerous? In JORDANETICS: A Journey Into the Mind of Humanity’s Greatest Thinker, political philosopher Vox Day delves deeply into the core philosophy that Jordan Peterson advocates in both his written works and his video lectures. In doing so, Day methodically builds a shocking case that will convince even the most skeptical Jordan Peterson supporter to reconsider both the man and his teachings.
- Serious thinkers don’t begin an abstract or preview of their work in passive voice with the vague plural pronoun “many.”
- Who exactly thinks “Peterson is the greatest thinker that humanity has ever known”? His peers? His fans? Historians? I hope Day has done the empirical leg-work here to support all his provocative claims in this book.
- Philosophers aren’t aghast when other thinkers reject the “conventional definition of truth,” i.e. the correspondence theory of truth (CTT). Hegel, Nietzsche, the American pragmatists — to name a few — were no proponents of it either. Were they just intellectual frauds too?
- Serious intellectuals, political philosophers included, avoid polemics and facetious rhetoric when criticizing someone.
- Philosophers don’t conflate dialectic with invective. They don’t make intellectual disagreement personal. This preview is a prologue to what looks to be a hatchet job.
- Serious intellectuals and philosophers tend not to carelessly assert dubious claims and demonstrable falsehoods in their published work. For example, is Peterson’s célébrité really comparable to the influence of a religious figure like a prophet to his fans? How does Day know these fans’ psychology so well as to claim that? Furthermore, Google Scholar shows Peterson’s work has been cited more than 10,000 times, strongly suggesting he indeed thinks “thoughts that no man has ever thought before” precisely because many other men doing original research give him credit for conclusions and ideas he’s produced. It also debunks the libelous contention that “he lacks a modicum of intellectual integrity,” as hundreds of scholars find his work worth adducing. And the notion he’s a hypocritical free-thinker “who never hesitates to to run away from debates, difficult questions, and controversial issues” is laughable. What was Peterson’s stand against Canada’s Bill C-16 about then? He’s engaged hostile journalists in interviews and debated social justice warrior professors. Is Day’s audience too drunk on Alt-Right Kool-Aid not to see through this nonsense?
- The gratuitous hypocrisy in these four paragraphs is dumbfounding. If you’re going to condemn a man for not reading most of the seminal works of Western civilization, then don’t complain when he doesn’t maintain the CTT. Don’t decry a well-published academic as a “charlatan, an intellectual con man” when making no effort to observe the mores of the vita contemplativa, proclaiming yourself a political philosopher, and promoting your book that almost certainly is more concerned with malicious ad hominem than truth.
I’ve argued for it once before, but Day is a petty and envious sophist and ideologue. The tirade above is proof positive.